Unimog U-1300L trucks for Nicaragua

The Nicaraguan army has taken delivery of 12 trucks on May 24, 2018. The trucks were delivered through Guasaule via Honduras. While few details were released by the Ministry of Defense, a statement on its website indicates that the trucks were ordered months ago to initiate the replacement of Nicaragua's current inventory of ageing vehicles.

Unimog U 1300L trucks for Nicaragua
Unimog 1300L, an already old truck but still formidably efficient off-road (Picture source: Wikimedia)

Nicaragua currently operates a wide variety of vehicles, including Unimog U-1300, IFA L60, Zil-131, Ural-375, and VW-183 Iltis light 4x4 jeeps. It is unclear how old these trucks are. However, Nicaragua has stated that they do not meet the technical needs of the Army, and therefore many are being replaced.

Unimog is a range of multi-purpose 4x4 medium trucks produced by Daimler (formerly Daimler-Benz). The name "Unimog" is an acronym for the German "UNIversal MOtor Gerät, Gerät beig the German word for "device" (also in the sense of machine, instrument, gear, apparatus). Daimler-Benz took over manufacture of the Unimog in 1951 and they are currently built in the Mercedes truck plant in Wörth-am-Rhein, in Germany. Another Mercedes-Benz Türk A.S. plant assembles Unimogs in Aksaray, Turkery. Unimogs were also built in Argentina (first ever country to do that outside Germany) by Mercedes-Benz Argentina S.A. under license from 1968 until 1983 (with some extra units built until 1991 off the assembly line from parts in stock), in the Gonzales Catan factory near the city of Buenos Aires.

The first model was designed shortly after World War 2 to be used in agriculture as a self-propelled machine providing a power take-off to operate saws in forests or harvesting machines on fields. It was designed with permanent all-wheel drive, with equal-size wheels, in order to be driven on roads at higher speeds than standard farm tractord. With their very high ground clearance and a flexible frame that is essentially a part of the suspension, Unimogs are not designed to carry as much load as regular trucks. New Unimogs can be purchased in one of two series: medium series 405, also known as the UGN ("Geräteträger" or equipment carrier), and heavy series 437, also known as the UHN ("Hochgeländegängig" or highly mobile cross country)